How to Get More Water in the Toilet Bowl
When all is well, the water level in a toilet bowl is determined by the height of the outlet of its internal P-trap. When the water level in the bowl is too high, it's usually because the pipes are clogged, but when it's too low, there are at least four possible reasons. The first is a partial clog that slowly is siphoning water from the bowl. Another is insufficient water in the tank, and a third is blocked vent pipes. These problems are fixable, but if water is leaking from a hairline crack, it's time for a new toilet.
1. Remove the tank cover and check the water level after the fill valve has shut off. It should be about one inch below the opening of the overflow tube. If it is significantly lower than that, there may not be enough water in the tank to fill the bowl after a flush. Correct this by adjusting the float.
2. Screw the ball on the end of a float arm clockwise to shorten the arm. It will exert less pressure on the valve, which will take longer to close. If you have a cup-style float that fits around the overflow tube, shorten the adjustment strap so the float has to rise higher to shut off the valve.
3. Test the internal piping system of the toilet, called the colon, for a partial blockage that may be siphoning water from the bowl. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with water and pour it quickly into the bowl while the water is stationary. If it backs up, the colon probably is blocked.
4. Put on a pair of rubber gloves that cover your forearms and reach into the colon. This is the most effective way to remove a large piece of debris, such as a disposable diaper or a tampon. If you can't find anything, plunge the toilet. If all else fails, clear the obstruction with a toilet auger.
5. Listen for gurgling sounds from the toilet when you use another toilet or empty the bathtub. They are an indication that the plumbing vents are blocked, and the vacuum in the pipes is sucking air through the toilet and probably emptying the bowl. Clear the vents by climbing on the roof and spraying water into them with a garden hose. Make sure you are well anchored to the roof.
6. Look for water on the floor around the base of the toilet if you can't pinpoint any other reason for the low water level. You may have to remove the toilet to get a good look at the subfloor, especially if the floor is tiled. The presence of water probably means there is a crack in the bowl. If so, replace the toilet, because you can't repair cracks in porcelain reliably.
Things You Will Need
? Bucket, 5-gallon
? Rubber gloves
? Toilet auger
? Garden hose
If your plumbing vents tend to get blocked frequently, cover the openings with a grid to prevent debris from falling inside.
If you suspect a crack in your toilet, immediately replace the toilet. Allowing water to seep onto the floor can result in expensive structural repairs.